Vice President of Programs

Date Posted: 
Mon, September 21, 2020
Job Type: 
Job Category: 
Company Name: 
Proteus Fund
Company Information: 

Proteus Fund partners with foundations, individual donors, activists, advocates and allies to advance justice, human rights, equity, inclusiveness and democracy at the local, state and national levels. In our twenty-six years, we have collaborated in launching many vision and mission-driven initiatives, including Donor Collaboratives, Fiscally Sponsored Projects, Donor and Group Advised Funds and family foundation management. Along with our innovative and dynamic efforts to change hearts and minds, policy and law, we also strive to transform  the very nature of U.S. philanthropy in ways consistent with our vision and mission.

Proteus Fund and its associated organizations, including our sister organization, Proteus Action League, have distributed more than $220 million in grants to support cutting-edged issue advancement and movement building using strategies and tactics ranging from community organizing, coalition building, and public policy advocacy to narrative and messaging development, multi-layered public education campaigns and leadership development.  Our expertise coupled with our passion have helped identify and act on challenges and opportunities in the field, advance significant movement building and play a major role in achieving pivotal victories.  Today, we are a $35 million predominantly philanthropic organization supporting 24 programs and initiatives. 

Proteus Fund is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC. Our staff is based across the entire United States and internationally.

Job Description: 

Reporting to the President & CEO (President), the Vice President for Programs (VPP) will have significant leadership responsibility for advancing Proteus Fund’s powerful vision of a world rooted in rights, justice, dignity and democracy.  Among Proteus Fund’s programs, the VPP will have overall strategic and operational oversight of the Donor Collaborative portfolio with all Donor Collaborative Program Directors reporting to the VPP.  As part of the team including the President and Donor Collaborative Program Directors, the VPP will have critical partnership responsibilities aimed at growing and ensuring the cutting-edge nature and high impact of this portfolio of progressive social justice work.

The VPP also will take the lead in cultivating and developing new Donor Collaboratives on issues and movements essential to the future of American democracy and marginalized and disenfranchised communities.  To advance the work of the Donor Collaboratives’ portfolio as well as Proteus Fund’s overall vision, mission and values, the VPP will play a significant role in overseeing the communications function and thought leadership role in social justice philanthropy. 

This is a full-time (40 hour per week) position located in New York City. Note: Due to Covid-19, this will be a work-from-home position through December 31, 2020.


The salary range for this position is $160,000 - $172,500 per year. 


  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and eligible dependents available on first day of work
  • Retirement savings account (401k) with an organization contribution of 10% of annual salary
  • Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years
  • Fifteen sick days per year
  • Three personal days per year
  • Twelve paid holidays
  • Professional development initiatives for growth
  • Paid Family Leave

Key Responsibilities

Vison, Mission and Values

  • Working with the President, Donor Collaborative Program Directors and other colleagues, ensure that Proteus Fund’s vision, mission and values are manifest in our work, our narrative and our collaborative model of relationships with grantees, other organizers and advocates, donors and other stakeholders in shared mission with Proteus.
  • With the President, work across a variety of areas and strategies to ensure that Proteus Fund maintains a respected and effective strategic position and profile in the social justice field in a way that fully reflects our vision, mission and values.
  • Along with other senior organizational colleagues, work collectively to craft and support an organizational culture that connects Proteus Fund’s vision, mission and values to our ongoing operations.

Program Management and Development:

  • Act as a thought partner with the President in successfully developing and implementing programmatic elements of Proteus Fund’s Strategic Plan, including new programming, enhanced strategies for current programs and Proteus Fund-specific events and research.
  • Develop and maintain a very high level of understanding of our current Donor Collaborative work as well as a full range of social justice issues and movements generally.
  • Supervise, mentor and provide general direction to and support of Donor Collaborative Program Directors, including strategic thought partnership, leadership and other movement and professional development, problem resolution and performance evaluation.
  • Oversee recruitment and hiring of new Donor Collaborative Program Directors.
  • Work with other senior leaders to identify and organize opportunities for Proteus Fund program staff to create and maintain a constant learning environment on social justice movements and ethical, values-based philanthropic efforts. 
  • As needed, stand in as a representative for a particular Donor Collaborative at internal or external meetings, briefings, conferences and other events. 
  • Lead efforts to explore and develop new Donor Collaboratives that effectively advance key social justice issues at the local, state and federal levels.
  • In close collaboration with our Grants Management team and legal counsel, ensure necessary legal/regulatory compliance as well as high ethical standards of Donor Collaborative grantmaking and related movement building work to protect grantees, other movement activists and advocates, donors and Proteus Fund from actors hostile to the vision and mission of Proteus Fund. 
  • Proactively build on and strengthen Proteus Fund’s relationships with other relevant philanthropic intermediaries, other social justice funders and social justice leaders in the field to foster regular sharing of critical information, lessons learned, strategies and tactics.

Resource and New Work Development:

  • In close collaboration with Program Directors, advocate successfully with and inspire current and potential funding partners to support Proteus Fund’s Donor Collaboratives robustly and for the long term as well as serve as ambassadors for the program.
  • Working closely with the President and Donor Collaborative Program Directors, create and fulfill annual resource development plans that maintain financial sustainability for each Donor Collaborative as well as Proteus Fund overall, and maximize opportunities for diversifying the funding base for Donor Collaboratives.
  • Assist in building Proteus Fund’s ability to spot trends in philanthropy and in the social justice movement eco-system with a keen eye towards new work development and ensuring the success of Proteus Fund’s business model and plans.
  • In general, organize and mobilize donors to support critically needed and woefully underfunded social justice philanthropy.

External Relations - Communications, Visibility and External Representation:

  • Working in tandem with the President, oversee Proteus Fund’s communications function.
  • Educate a variety of relevant external audiences, including donors, other strategic partners, philanthropic media and philanthropy in general regarding Proteus Fund’s work, especially our Donor Collaboratives.
  • Strengthen Proteus Fund’s social justice philanthropy thought leadership and increase our visibility and impact in a range of relevant donor communities through conferences, convenings, articles, etc.

Staff Leadership and Management:

  • As a member of the senior leadership team, help to shape productive and effective organizational systems, processes, policies and structure given Proteus Fund’s stewardship of precious social justice resources.
  • Model effective management and leadership that will enable Proteus Fund to achieve its short- and long-term goals and objectives while being consistent with its vision and values.
  • Work with other Proteus Fund leadership and staff to model behavior and strengthen systems, practices and culture based on the values of diversity, equity and inclusion in which all Proteus Fund staff, consultants and vendors feel valued and respected.

Financial and Risk Management:

  • Support the strong financial health and management of the organization through active participation in the preparation of annual budgets, review of monthly budget-to-actual reports, and appropriate internal controls.
  • Oversee Donor Collaboratives and related Action Funds and work closely with other senior leadership to ensure that annual budgets are in line with financial forecasts and revenue projections.
  • Ensure strong and timely compliance with federal and state laws and regulations guiding Donor Collaboratives’ programming.

Governance and Board Relationship:

  • Support the Board of Directors, including the President, to act as effective ambassadors for our Donor Collaboratives, including building new Donor Collaborative work.
  • Work with the President to ensure reporting to the Board on the work and operations of the Donor Collaborative portfolio, including opportunities, challenges and progress toward strategic goals, objectives and benchmarks.
  • Attend relevant sections of regularly held meetings of the Proteus Fund Board of Directors.

Proteus Action League

  • Proteus Fund provides services to Proteus Action League, an affiliated 501(c)(4) organization with a shared vision and mission to advance social justice (PAL).  As a Proteus Fund employee, the VPP will be performing certain activities similar to those listed in this description in connection with this PAL work as determined by Proteus Fund.

The Vice President of Programs will possess a deep commitment to the core values and principles of Proteus Fund, including diversity, equity and inclusion within Proteus Fund, philanthropy and social justice movements. They will have the ability to be a strong strategic partner with the President while serving as an internal and external leader in social justice philanthropy. Their strong interpersonal and facilitation skills will enable them to work collaboratively and effectively inside and outside the organization. They will have highly developed project management skills, including an ability to perform effectively under pressure, such as when facing multiple time-sensitive priorities, all while maintaining the highest level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards. 

Additional requirements and experience include:

  • Deep expertise in social justice philanthropy and strategies for building progressive movements
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated record of success in cultivating relationships with and raising funds from institutional and individual donors, and in working in partnership with funders, donors and grantee organizations
  • Demonstrated record of success in turning organizational vision into programmatic impact, leading a team, and building a strong external organizational presence
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate, inspire, and unite colleagues and stakeholders around a shared vision and plan of action
  • Ability to work in an uncertain and changing external landscape
  • Bachelor’s Degree; we value candidates who can demonstrate capability and articulate how prior experiences will help them to contribute

Alignment to Culture and Values:

  • Commitment to vision, mission of Proteus as a progressive social justice organization
  • Strong relationship building; high ethical standards, discretion and tact
  • Personal qualities of humility and empathy
  • Cultural responsiveness and an alignment with our values and commitment to equity and inclusion
How to apply: 

For consideration, please submit cover letter and resume by September 25, 2020 to: 

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at Proteus Fund, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

New York City
New York